In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 25th March 2018

MediaNama would like to thank its sponsors: E2E, for their support.

How 50 million Facebook users were profiled and influenced: A low down on Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump during his US Presidential campaign, amassed a massive chunk of Facebook user data for some 50 million people without ever getting their permission, investigative reports by The New York Times and the Observer revealed. In an effort to get ahead of the controversy, Facebook on Saturday announced that it had suspended accounts for Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. Read it here

Uber and Ola drivers go on strike across the country, demand better pay

Ola and Uber drives are on an indefinite strike across Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, among other cities, protesting poor payouts received from the app-based taxi hailing firms. While most cabs are off the road in Mumbai, users from cities like Delhi, Bengaluru and others have told Medianama that they are able to book cabs (some users had to pay surge fares). Read it here

All UPI apps must support scanning of BharatQR, merchant payment requests: NPCI

In a notification released last Friday the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has mandated that every UPI application should be able to scan BharatQR codes and respond to merchant payment requests.

The NPCI has said that all banks running UPI applications need to adhere to such guidelines by April 16, failing which transactions will be declined for non-compliance. Read it here

French security researcher releases source code for an ‘Aadhaar Search Engine’

After the recent exposés by French security researcher Robert Baptiste who goes by the alias Elliot Alderson of Aadhaar related security issues and the UIDAI’s consistent denials trivializing them, Baptiste predictably appears to have done what he had suggested. While he has not made a Twitter bot for tweeting about Aadhaar cards in the public domain as initially claimed, he has released on github, the source code for a very basic url scraper based on scrapy that provides a list of urls to Aadhaar cards based on the query text provided. Read it here

‘Subscribe with Google’ allows news publishers to monetise content

In what is a fairly significant development, Google has announced the launch of “Subscribe with Google” a service which allows news publishers to offer subscription services to users. Subscribe with Google will allow a seamless sign-in and payment flow via the Google account, and payments via credit card. At the launch, Philipp Schindler, Chief Business Officer at the company said that this is a small revenue share deal, with a large percentage going to the publisher. Read it here

Chargebee gets Rs 120 crore in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners

Cloud-based billing solutions provider ChargeBee has secured Rs 120 crore ($18.5 million) in a Series-C round of funding led by New York-based Insight Venture Partners along with existing investors such as Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management. Read it here

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologises for Cambridge Analytica incident, calls it a “major breach of trust”

After five days of radio silence, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has finally apologised for a “major breach of trust,” admitted mistakes and has outlined steps to protect user data in light of the recent revelations made about the harvesting of personal data of 50 million users by a firm that was part of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Read it here

Constitutional Validity of Aadhaar, Day 20: NGOs are filing these affidavits

This is a record of the proceedings in the Supreme Court bench hearings on the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar, which began on Feb 13, 2018. You may read the previous days’ proceedings here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16., Day 17, Day 18 and Day 19. Read it here

Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and India: Everything we learned this week

Last week investigative reports by The New York Times and the Observer revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm, had amassed a massive chunk of Facebook user data for some 50 million people without ever getting their permission. This data was reportedly used to influence voters in the US Presidential elections and Britain’s EU referendum, as Cambridge Analytica and its parent company Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) worked as part of Donald Trump’s campaign team and the Euro-skeptic Brexit campaign. Read it here

The liability of Aadhaar

The Aadhaar, with any responsible project management, would never have hit release candidate status, let alone be deployed with sensitive data of the population of the largest democracy on the planet. The flaws of the project are innumerable. From design to deployment. From malintent to incompetence. Read it here